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Rs 10 lakh fine on telcos if found flouting new SIM card sale rules: DoT

Sale of SIM cards through unregistered dealers will lead to a Rs 10 lakh penalty on telecom operators as per new rules, the Department of Telecom (DoT) said in a circular on Thursday


Press Trust of India New Delhi

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Sale of SIM cards through unregistered dealers will lead to a Rs 10 lakh penalty on telecom operators as per new rules, the Department of Telecom (DoT) said in a circular on Thursday.
The new rules that aim to check fraudulent sale of SIM cards will come into effect from October 1 and telecom operators need to register all 'Point of Sale' (PoS) before September 30, the circular said.
"If the licensee(s) permit any new PoS i.e., after September 30, 2023, to enrol customers without registration, then a financial penalty of Rs 10 lakh per PoS per instance shall be imposed by concerned LSA (licensed service area) on each licensee, the circular said.
All mobile connections activated through unregistered PoS shall also need to be re-verified as per the existing instructions, according to the circular.
All the existing PoS will also need to submit documents and register by the end of September.
"In case, a Licensee appoints a PoS for doing recharge/ billing activities only and not for enrolling the customers, then there is no requirement of registration of such PoS as per these instructions," the circular said.
PoS or the retailer will need to provide a corporate identity number (CIN), Limited Liability Partnership Identification Number (LLPIN) or business license, Aadhaar or Passport, PAN, Goods and Services tax Registration Certificate etc. for registration.
If the PoS does not have CIN, LLPIN, incorporation certificate, PAN and GST certificate, then it will have to submit an affidavit and these documents immediately after they become available.
In case a PoS submits forged documents then telecom operators will need to block its ID and all customers enrolled by the PoS will have to be re-verified.
"In addition to this, the same PoS shall also be terminated by all licensees across all LSAs (licensed service areas) and action as per law of the land shall be initiated by the licensee against such PoS," the circular said.
The move follows after the government launched a widespread crackdown on fraudulent calls.
According to details shared by Union telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the government has disconnected 52 lakh mobile connections. While 67,000 dealers have been blacklisted, 300 FIRs have been registered against SIM card dealers since May 2023.
Further, the minister said WhatsApp on its own blocked around 66,000 accounts that were involved in fraudulent activities.
Besides, "about 8 lakh bank wallet accounts used by fraudsters have been frozen. Out of 7.5 lakh complaints about stolen or lost mobile handsets, 3 lakh mobile handsets have been traced and returned to their owners", Vaishnaw had said.
According to official data, about 17,000 mobile handsets have been blocked and out of these about 18 lakh subscribers' complaints of having fraudulently registered mobile connections in their names, 9.26 lakh complaints have been resolved.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Aug 31 2023 | 10:10 PM IST

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